Clichés have a way of penetrating our language and as a result, our culture as well. If you do a quick search through your MP3, DVD collection or book shelf, you will be bound to find hundreds of labels that are nothing more than clichés.
Before I started my blog, I knew that in order for people to read it, I had to have a title that was catchy, meaningful and original. Well, two out of three wasn’t bad. As it turned out, “writing the wrongs,” was not as unique of a header as I had first thought. As you can imagine, I was thoroughly disappointed. After entering the name of my blog into a search engine, I was saddened to see that my idea of the perfect name to my first ever blog had been abused to the point that the phrase had been rendered useless, tamed and forgettable.
It was because of moments like this, that I have always tried to avoid clichés, like the plague.
Sayings have a way of becoming the next pop culture buzz slang. However, rather than sulk about my misfortune and idea gone aloof, I decided to change the title altogether to a name less overused in everyday speak and more substantive.
In essence, I traded my cliché for a metaphor which could very well turn into tomorrow’s cliché. I first came across the idea “Called to Bunt” while reading, “All Too Human,” by former Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos, when he recalled a passage that then Governor Mario Cuomo had passed to him from Ken Burn’s book on baseball: “I love the idea of the bunt. I love the idea of sacrifice. Even the word is good. Give yourself up for the good of the whole.”
The excerpt reminded me both of my parents who embody the very concept of this act as well as a purpose that I have been meant to serve.
If there was ever a better line that a fan of baseball and humanity like me could emulate or relate to, I don’t think I’ve yet found it. The thought of “bunting,” represents everything that a baseball player or person should strive towards. The bunt is a simple play but not one envied by those who wish to hit the crowd favored home run. It’s an act that often goes unnoticed. It is an act as selfless as the person behind it.
Oddly, when I think about bunting, I don’t think of baseball immediately. Instead, I think of my parents who have essentially “bunted their entire lives. The immeasurable sacrifices that they made to raise their children were not done by people who wished to be the center of attention. The desire to see all four of us succeed was the act of two parents who would have rather starved then to see us go without.
As a baseball player, I used to hate to bunt. I preferred to swing away so that I could get on base. Now a days I see that it takes special, humble individuals to lay down a bunt even when it often times leads to that person being called out. I think about all of the people that I consider bunters and realize how important they are to the functioning of our society. No, you will not find them in the newspaper or on the red carpet of an awards banquet. Their averages will not be on the top of the statistics leader board or names etched into the Hall of Fame. Bunters don’t do it for the glory or seek the limelight. They do it all for the team.
The name of my blog is “Called to Bunt.” It’s catchy, meaningful and for lack of foresight, original. Still, it is more than a title for a collection of my thoughts and essays, it’s my mantra.
Maybe I should copyright it!